This is interesting for calligraphy-- I hadn't realized that the double-story small a (with a hook on top) and the double-story g (loop on the bottom instead of a tail) contributed so much to legibility, though they'd become habits in most of my calligraphy for no obvious reason.
Chalk up additional reasons for considering the handwriting I was taught in school to be unsatisfactory-- the print a and g were single story.
From The Making of FF Tundra
A typeface has two principle directions: The horizontal, the line, which the eye moves along; and the vertical of the individual characters, defined predominantly by the stems. The stems are responsible for the rhythm of a typeface, while the curves (bowls, instrokes, outstrokes, etc) determine its character.
This is something for me to mull, as is the rest of that article.
The next point in the piece about UI fonts is the x-height, but it doesn't discuss how tall ascenders need to be so that words have distinctive shapes.
Link thanks to Geek Press.
Context for the subject line here.
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